Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Render Unto Caesar
Well, the election is this year and politics are in full swing. I’ve never been a very political person; I only involve myself in certain areas of politics, i.e. taking care of our homeless, equality for the minorities, taking care of our troops and veterans. With the presidential elections growing near I am seeing a growing and disturbing trend spreading throughout certain church in the area. I see man churches using their influence in the community as a Segway to promoting their own political agenda. It’s not a new trend by any means! I have heard multiple pastors using the pulpit to preach their politics but as of late the trend has grown into other more public ways of expressing their feelings about our government. I see church signs with political jargon scrawled on them, churches going as a body to protest and picket certain political events not matching up to their own beliefs, churches ceasing to give money to needy organizations that they believe have different politics than them. I have to be honest, these things frustrate me! I don’t understand how any organization of any kind can take such aggressive and judgment filled stands and claim to do it in the name of Christ. My mind goes back to the story in Mark where the Pharisees came to Jesus trying to trap him and asked him a political question about whether or not to pay taxes. Jesus knew what they were up to and his answer was, “Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.” In that day it wasn’t uncommon to mix politics and religion especially with how much the Jews hated the Romans. Despite the norm, Jesus kept his politics and religion separate. Now you might argue, well in Bible times it was illegal to practice Christianity and they still did it! That is very true! That however, is a completely different issue. Here in America, the government is not asking you to participate in the aspects you don’t agree with. It doesn’t order you to have an abortion or support gay marriage or stop believing in what you believe. I’m sure Jesus didn’t agree with all the politics in his day either. There were many corrupt and evil things going on, he simply chose to teach love and grace and truth instead of opposition and aggression towards his government. I’m not saying you have to stop being involved and supportive of what u believe in politically; I’m simply saying not to use the pulpit and your church signs as political tools. I urge you, let’s focus on giving God what is God’s and stop trying to take from Caesar what is his. Let’s try to avoid letting pictures like this one be seen of our church signs.